CONFIDENTIALITY AND AMNESTY
In times of distress it may be confusing to determine how best to obtain personal support and clear information about options and resources. In making a decision about whom to contact for support and information, it is important to understand that most Rockford University employees are not confidential resources and are therefore obligated to report to the University any information they receive about sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct. Only a few employees are confidential resources, who in most cases are not obligated to disclose such information. Additional information pertaining to confidential resources and non-confidential resources is listed below. Persons who have experienced sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct are encouraged to consider the below listed information in choosing whom to contact for support and information.
Employee should not promise confidentiality unless their professional role is confidential, and they have received the report in that confidential capacity. If approached, it is appropriate to say, “I may be obligated to share what you tell me with administrative officials. If you would like, I can connect you with University resources that can maintain confidentiality or privacy of what you share.” Where an incident involves off-campus conduct involving a member or members of the University community, the reporting expectations of this policy still apply. If an employee is unsure of whether to report, consult with the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators as appropriate.
Please see the information below for additional information regarding reporting.
Confidential communications are those communications which legally cannot be disclosed to another person without the consent of the individual who originally provided the information, except under very limited circumstances, such as allegations involving the physical or sexual abuse of a child or vulnerable adult or an imminent threat to the life of any person. The University recognizes that some individuals may wish to keep their concerns confidential. As a result, the University has designated specific persons as confidential resources for individuals who prefer to talk with someone confidentially about their concerns. These confidential resources include the following:
Lang Center for Health, Wellness, Counseling, and Disability Services
- Professional Counselors
- Health Services Staff
Location: Lang Center is located between Colman Library and Cummings Residence Complex
Phone: 815-226-3335 / E-Mail: HealthCenter@rockford.edu
Confidential employees are expected to report aggregate data quarterly to the Title IX Coordinator without any personally identifiable details unless the confidential employee determines on a case-by-case basis that reporting would not be in the best interest of the client/patient.
Confidental Sources-OFF CAMPUS Confidential Advisor
There are also off-campus confidential resources that persons who have experienced sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct may contact. Off-campus resources include: licensed professional counselors, local rape crisis counselors, clergy/chaplains, domestic violence resources. Information regarding on and off campus resources can be found in section On Campus Support Options and Off Campus Support Options.
Rockford University’s Confidential Advisor is Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling. RSAC can provide emergency and ongoing support for concerns of sexual assault. They provide counseling, and support services. The Title IX Coordinator trains their staff yearly about campus procedures and protocols. The Confidential Advisor does not disclose any information regarding like students served. They will however, provide aggregate numbers for parties seen who are part of the RU community.
Non-confidential communications are those communications with any University employee who is not a confidential resource as identified under confidential source section. Only confidential resources can promise confidentiality. All other University employees who become aware of incidents or allegations of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking, must report the matter to the University, even if the complainant requests confidentiality. Examples of non-confidential communications include those with:
- All faculty members (including adjunct faculty)
- Admissions and Student Administrative Services (SAS) staff
- Student Life staff
- Residence Hall Directors and Resident Assistants
- Graduate Assistants
- Coaches and Assistant Coaches (including GA staff)
- Human Resources Office
- Library staff
- Alumni staff
- Marketing and Communications staff
- Campus Safety and Security staff
- Facilities and Housekeeping staff
- All other University employees (full-time and part-time)
When reporting misconduct covered under Title IX (e.g. sexual harassment, sex or gender discrimination, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual orientation discrimination, gender identity discrimination, etc.), University employees must provide full details of the incident, if known, including all names and personally identifying information. If a victim wishes for no action to be taken, the Title IX Coordinator must evaluate the request.
If a reporting party discloses an incident to a responsible employee but does not wish for their name to be shared, does not wish for an investigation to take place or does not want a formal resolution to be pursued, the victim may make such a request to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinators who will evaluate that request in light of the duty to ensure the safety of the campus and comply with federal law. In cases, indicating pattern, predation, threat, weapons and/or violence, the University will likely be unable to honor a request for confidentiality. If the University determines that it cannot maintain a reporting party’s confidentiality, the University will inform the reporting party prior to starting an investigation and will, to the extent possible, only share information with people responsible for handling the University’s response. If the University is able to honor the request for confidentiality, the reporting party must understand that the University’s ability to respond and pursue disciplinary action against the accused is limited.
In the event that the University proceeds with an investigation and is unable to maintain confidentiality, the University will take ongoing steps to protect the reporting party from retaliation or harm and work with him/her to create a safety plan. Retaliation against the reporting party, whether by students or University employees, will not be tolerated. The University will also:
- assist the reporting party in accessing other available advocacy support, academic support, counseling, disability, health or mental health services, and legal assistance both on and off campus;
- provide other security and support, which could include issuing a no-contact order, helping arrange a change of living or working arrangements or course schedules (including for the responding party pending the outcome of an investigation) or adjustments for assignments or tests; and
- inform the reporting party of the right to report a crime to campus or local law enforcement – and provide her/him with assistance if the s/he wishes to do so.
Amnesty and Reporting
Amnesty for Alcohol and Other Drug Use
The welfare of students, staff, and faculty is of paramount importance. The Rockford University community encourages the reporting of alleged sexual misconduct. Sometimes, students are hesitant to report to University officials because they fear that they themselves may be charged with policy violations, such as underage drinking at the time of the incident. Similarly, students are sometimes hesitant to offer assistance to others for fear that they may get themselves in trouble. For example, an underage student who has been consuming alcohol might hesitate to bring the sexual misconduct victim to Campus Safety and Security for reporting and/or assistance.) It is in the best interest of the Rockford University community for individuals to report allegations of sexual misconduct to University officials.
To encourage reporting, Rockford University pursues a policy of offering reporters of sexual misconduct and students who offer assistance to others in need a limited immunity from being charged with policy violations related to the sexual misconduct incident. While policy violations cannot be completely overlooked, the University will provide referrals to counseling and may require educational options in such instances.